Going through my divorce last year, at the tail end of a 20-year marriage, the “Divine Masculine” was not high on my radar. At the time, the man I had shared my life and raised my daughter with appeared more like an alien life form, and his (male) lawyer was making the shredding of my future security into a personal work of art.
There is a very human tendency in these situations to begin shutting down in self-defense, building the walls that make it harder and harder to see the opposite sex with any kind of clarity. But then, just when all seemed darkest, a lovely older gentleman in the form of a legal mediator rode his white stallion into my life.
Although I’m not suggesting that I needed rescuing, or that my (female) lawyer and I were not completely capable of handling the situation, what was truly at stake for me was my bedrock faith in mankind (and the kindness of men). Just before I chinked up the last brick in my wall and pulled up the drawbridge, I got a saving glimpse of another kind of man.
Thinking of the Divine Masculine as Negative
If you’re thinking that the Divine Masculine will only show up in your life as a young and handsome prince, you’re seriously missing out. In Jungian psychology, every archetype (essentially a blueprint we carry in the collective unconscious for certain well-known roles or characters) has both divine and profane aspects that incorporate its positive and negative traits. This makes instinctive sense: we all understand that archetypes like Mother, Warrior, King or Child can be played out in both helpful and less helpful forms.
In addition, we all have aspects of each archetype within us – including ones that seem to belong to the opposite gender – so that I, as a woman, can embody both the divine and profane Feminine, as well as Masculine, and any number of other roles. There’s no doubt it can get crowded at the table (or in bed)! So what’s the takeaway from all of this? When you’ve had a few too many experiences with the Profane Masculine – as I had – it can be easy to start making generalizations.
“All men behave like jerks/only want sex/can’t be trusted/etc. It’s just the way they are.” And when we start with this bias, we inevitably begin to see more and more examples of exactly what we’re expecting – however unwelcome. Negative expectations are like blinders that keep us focused on only one version of reality, and not necessarily the one that we want! This was definitely happening to me during my divorce, and it started a downward spiral I didn’t want any part of.
Look for the Positive in the Divine Masculine
To slow it down I had to consciously look around in my life for examples of the Divine Masculine in action. This doesn’t mean you have to find a “perfect” man (my mediator was bald and pushing 70, and besides our brief encounter I knew nothing of his life), but you do have to find and celebrate the Divine Masculine where it shows up in the people you know.
Here’s what I found when I started looking: my 83-year-old father, who gets sweeter and gentler as he ages; my brother, who willingly gave up several days to help me move; my kind and sensitive brother-in-law; my 18-year-old nephew with his crazy energy and love of life. Then start looking outside of your immediate circle. There’s the dad in the mall patiently holding his toddler’s hand so she can walk. The stranger at the bank who opens the door for you. The man at the beach endlessly throwing a stick for his dog. You know it when you see it.
Collect these images like shiny pennies. Use them to inoculate yourself against cynicism and negativity. Once you start looking you’ll find them everywhere – I guarantee it – and if your heart has felt battered and bruised lately, there’s no better balm.
After you’ve recalibrated your radar to pick up the Divine Masculine in all its guises, Step Two is to consciously embody the Divine Feminine, in whatever form that takes for you. Because here’s the thing: Nothing attracts the Divine Masculine like a true Goddess. This is all about getting in touch with a feeling state, not what you wear or any specific actions to take.
Simply get quiet with the idea of the Divine Feminine and see what comes up for you. How would you feel and who would you be if you were acting from that archetype? What images and adjectives spring to mind? How can you show up for others in a way that feels like balm? The trick is to become consciously aware of the archetypes you habitually express, and where you are on the divine/profane spectrum. Intentionally project the Divine Feminine, just as you intentionally look for and delight in the Divine Masculine. (And obviously, the whole process can be done in reverse by any men out there who have been encountering too much of the Profane Feminine lately.)
Rather than sinking into a downward spiral of negative expectations, use that energy to consciously embody, attract and celebrate the experiences and feelings you want to create.